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Namibian exports increased in March despite Covid

2021-05-11  Maihapa Ndjavera

Namibian exports increased in March despite Covid
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The value of Namibian exports in March 2021 increased by 6.3% to N$6.5 billion from a level of N$6.2 billion recorded in February 2021. However, when compared to N$9.1 billion recorded in March 2020, exports declined by 28.3%. 

These figures were confirmed in the recently released Namibia Trade Statistics Bulletin for March 2021 from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA). According to the NSA, the pandemic caused a massive and instant reduction of global economic activity. This significant decline led to reduced demand for commodities, representing a substantial demand shock and leading to a sharp drop in commodity prices. Supply chain disruptions due to hold-ups at ports when importers or exporters went into lockdown disrupted commodity exporters’ revenue streams.

Statistician General, Alex Shimuafeni stated that for the period under review, imports stood at N$9.2 billion, increasing by 3.1% and 23.8% compared to N$8.9 billion and N$7.4 billion recorded in February 2021 and March 2020, respectively. 

“Following the developments in exports and imports, Namibia’s total merchandise trade with the rest of the world (ROW) increased by 4.4% from N$15.1 billion obtained in February 2021 to N$15.7 billion recorded in March 2021. A further decline of 5% was observed in the country’s total trade when compared to its level of N$16.5 billion registered in March 2020,” said Shimuafeni.

The trade balance compares the country’s trade flow with the ROW in terms of export earnings and expenditure on imports. During the month under review, Namibia recorded a trade deficit to the tune of N$2.6 billion compared to a deficit level of N$2.7 billion in February 2021. 

Furthermore, the report stated that in March 2021, total re-exports stood at N$3.8 billion after recording N$3.6 billion in the previous month and N$3.3 billion during the same month of last year, thus improving by 5.3% and 13.9%, respectively. 

Re-export products are commodities imported by residents who assume short-term ownership of them. These commodities are subsequently exported without undergoing any significant industrial transformation. 

“Even though no substantial transformation is done, re-exports have the potential to benefit the intermediate country by rendering services such as sorting, repackaging, storage, transport and trade mediation services. This implies that the country’s services sector greatly benefits from activities of re-exports. Additionally, re-exports serve as an indication of favourable corporate tax in the intermediate country,” read the report.

2021-05-11  Maihapa Ndjavera

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